The Cantick Head Lighthouse is situated on the island of South Walls in the Orkney Islands. It is located at the end of Cantick Head, a long peninsula on the south-eastern coast of the island that overlooks the Pentland Firth and the Sound of Hoxa, forming the southern entry to the natural harbour of Scapa Flow.
South Walls is joined to the larger island of Hoy by a narrow causeway, allowing road access to the village of Longhope, Hackness and then the lighthouse further to the south-east.
The light first entered service in 1858, and consists of a 22 metre high cylinder-shaped tower, painted white. It supports a single gallery and a lantern with a black cupola.
Beside the tower are a set of keeper’s cottages and subsidiary buildings, bounded by a walled compound containing a sundial. In 1913, a foghorn was installed at the station, which continued in use until 1987. In 1991 the light was converted to automatic operation, and the keeper’s houses were sold and converted to holiday accommodation. With a focal height of 35 metres above sea level, the light can be seen for 33 km. with a light characteristic consisting of a flash of white light every twenty seconds.
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